Saturday, October 31, 2009

PS P.S.: Who's Who #12 - Feb. 1986

Another appearance I can't believe I missed was the first Who's Who entry for the Justice League, which featured the entire team...which of course includes The Phantom Stranger!

This oversight was corrected by Fantom Stranger Russell Burbage--thanks to his last minute efforts, IATPS made it to today, October 31st!
Thanks Russell!

But we still have one more item to get to, so be here when we wrap it all up tomorrow, November 1st!

Friday, October 30, 2009

PS P.S.: Alex Ross Poster - 2004

Yet another item I missed was this 2004 gatefold poster by Alex Ross featuring all the members of the classic Justice League of America, plus some of their friends, honorary members, and assorted hangers-on:
This was sent to me by Fantom Stranger Russell "Eagle Eyes" Burbage. Thanks Russell!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

PS P.S.: Vertigo Tarot Deck - 2008

Another item I missed was The Vertigo Tarot Deck, which featured various Vertigoians(?) as Tarot characters, featuring art by Dave McKean.

In this case, The Phantom Stranger is The Hermit:
This set was pointed out to me by Fantom Stranger Jacob Levy. Thanks Jacob!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

PS P.S.: The Vertigo Encyclopedia - 2008

This updated, expanded version of The Vertigo Encyclopedia was published by DK in 2008, and featured Who's Who-ish listings for various characters from the Vertigo universe.

I've never actually seen the book, so I can't say what kind of listing The Phantom Stranger got. Apparently there were two types of listings--a full one, with pictures, and a second one that was smaller and featured mostly (if not nothing but) text. I don't know which kind of listing the Stranger got, but he's in there somewhere!

Thanks to your efforts, it turns out IATPS will make it all the way to not only October 31st, but November 1st! We have a couple more pieces of merch, and one weird little thing, all coming to you in the next couple of days!

Update! Courtesy Fantom Stranger MW Gallaher comes the above image from inside this book, which is the listing the Stranger received. MW says he's mentioned on a few other pages, but this is his official entry. Thanks MW!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

PS P.S.: DC Universe: Trail of Time - 2007

Fantom Stranger MW Gallaher, like a Governor from some 1940s crime movie, granted IATPS a stay of execution for 24 hours, since he pointed an item out that should--nay, needed--to be included on the blog before it signed off. Thanks MW!

This was one of the half-dozen or so of "DC Universe" prose novels that hit bookstore shelves in the middle part of the decade. And, even though he isn't on the cover (drat!), this story features a major appearance by The Phantom Stranger!

It involves a nefarious (aren't they all?) plot by Felix Faust, Mordru, and Vandal Savage which gets the attention of the Stranger and Etrigan the Demon. They in turn get Superman in on it, and even some of DC's western heroes make an appearance. Sounds like a fun book!

Monday, October 26, 2009

PS P.S.: Skybox Trading Card - 1993

This tryptych is actually three cards from Skybox's 1993 DC Comics series of trading cards, featuring a neat little visual history of Tim Hunter and the Books of Magic!

I had never even seen this before, until Fantom Stranger Richard Duncan (him again!) generously sent me all three cards for the blog.

Tomorrow: One last item, and some final comments!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

PS P.S.: DC Heroes RPG: Magic Sourcebook - 1992

Here's the cover to the other RPG book, sent to me by Fantom Stranger Jacob T. Levy.

Unfortunately, the Stranger doesn't appear on the (nifty!) cover
, but he's obviously a proper subject for the book, focusing as it does on DC's magic characters.

Thanks Jacob!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

PS P.S.: Back Issue! #15 - April 2006

I can't believe I forgot this one!

This issue of TwoMorrows' fine publication Back Issue! focused on "Weird Heroes", and included an article on The Phantom Stranger by Tom "The Comics Savant" Stewart. Here are two pages from it:
Stewart talked to Len Wein and Paul Levitz for the piece, adding their valuable insights. A fine article, well worth hunting down--you can buy it from TwoMorrows here!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

PS P.S.: Justice League of America #103: Autographed Edition

Yes, that is the Len Wein's signature on the cover to Justice League of America #103, The Phantom Stranger's first guest appearance in the book!

This was obtained for me by Fantom Stranger Russell Burbage, who spends almost as much time finding cool stuff for my blogs as I do. He met the estimable Mr. Wein at the recent Mid-Ohio Comic Con, and got him to autograph this very appropriate book. Thanks Russell!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

PS P.S.: Amazing World of DC Comics #16 - Dec. 1977

While this selection is stretching it a bit in terms of our theme (The Phantom Stranger doesn't actually appear anywhere in this issue), when I saw this letter inside I just couldn't pass it up:
Wow, I didn't know that the whole "multiple origin story" idea had gone back as far as this!

PS fan Stephen Doris only had to wait another nine years before DC actually got around to it...I wonder if he was still reading comics by then?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

PS P.S.: The DC Comics Encyclopedia - 2004

This was an appearance by the Stranger that I completely forgot about, thankfully Fantom Stranger Richard Duncan thought to send it to me--the 2004 DC Comics Encyclopedia, published by DK.

All of DC's main characters are covered, including the Stranger:
...thanks Richard! I wonder how anyone determined how much the Phantom Stranger actually weighs?

Richard is also a member of The Aquaman Shrine's F.O.A.M. group, making him a "club member" of two of my blogs! Let your freak flag fly, Richard!

Monday, October 19, 2009

PS P.S: Lobo #50 - April 1998

While I didn't miss chronicling the Stranger's appearance in Lobo #50, at the time of the post I hadn't managed to get a hold of a copy of the book itself, so all I could do was post the cover.

But Fantom Stranger Chris Roach helpfully provided me with a scan of the page in question from Lobo #50:
...thanks Chris! I wonder what the Stranger is drinking?

Okay, that seems to be it on the comic front, in terms of missing PS appearances. But there are a couple more items I need to get to, so be here tomorrow!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

PS P.S.: Swamp Thing #46 - March 1986

"Revelations" by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette, and John Totleben., this was embarrassing.

A few weeks after the appropriate timeline on the blog, I got an email from Amy Kerns, who was a faithful follower of IATPS, pointing out I missed this issue of Swamp Thing--not only does the Stranger appear inside, he's right there on the cover! Ouch!

This issue took place right in the middle of the Crisis, and when Swamp Thing finds himself suddenly aboard the Monitor's satellite, he searches out some people he knows, like The Phantom Stranger:
Good catch, thanks Amy!

This makes Amy our first Fantom Stranger--a term I award to anyone who sent some PS-related item in that I missed. I really can't believe I missed this one.

Tomorrow we induct another Fantom Stranger!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Back Issue! #36 - Oct. 2009

This issue of TwoMorrows' Back Issue! is, as the cover suggests, all about monsters.

But the magazine also found room for a whole article about everyone's favorite killjoy, Dr. Terrance Thirteen!
The Phantom Stranger is, naturally, mentioned all over the place in this piece, and it features interviews with PS scribes Mike Friedrich, Len Wein, and others. An interesting look back at an unusual character!

...and with that, I Am The Phantom Stranger is finally caught up with all the appearances DC's ultimate man of mystery has made, both in and out of DC's books. It's been a long trip--over a year, chronicling every single appearance of the Stranger!

But, try as I did not to, I did manage to miss a couple things during my attempt at an air-tight chronology, so we'll be spending the last few days of IATPS on those items I missed! Be here!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Blackest Night #3 - Nov. 2009

"Blackest Night" by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, and Oclair Albert.

The Phantom Stranger is both mentioned and appears in the pseudo-text page feature running in the back of each issue of Blackest Night:
I like how whoever put this page together (presumably Designer Steve Wands) used a shot of the Stranger from an old Phantom Stranger cover, by Jim Aparo. Nice touch!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blackest Night #2 - Oct. 2009

"Blackest Night" by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, and Oclair Albert.

With all the various dead people arising, of course The Phantom Stranger is involved. Here, he and his magi friends look into the disturbed grave of Boston Brand:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Madame Xanadu #10 - June 2009

Untitled by Matt Wagner, Amy Reeder Hadley, and Richard Friend.

All the versions of the Stranger Madame Xanadu has encountered are on display:
Zatara is angry at Madame Xanadu for doing this, but she says it doesn't concern him.

The Stranger "escorts" MX into another dimension, another reality, where he attempts to explain their mystical connection and why he has had to do the things he has done.

Madame Xanadu is skeptical, and the Stranger, free of her mystical bonds, departs, wishing her peace of mind. And with the tip of his fedora, he is gone.

This issue ends with Madame Xanadu as we first came to know her, operating her small tarot card-reading shop in New York.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Phantom Stranger Returns...For One Month

Yesterday, DC revealed that in January, eight long-cancelled DC series will be returning to DC's schedule for one month only--January 2010--to take the place of Blackest Night, which is skipping that month to prepare for the double-sized conclusion.

One of the titles, brought back from the dead is the original Phantom Stranger series, picking up the numbering where it left off back in 1976! Yes, there will be a Phantom Stranger #42, hitting the stands in January! Wa-hoo!

Of course, IATPS will be over by then, and while I still haven't decided how I'm going to be keeping up with all the Stranger's future appearances, I can definitively say that this blog will come back for one special post to commemorate Phantom Stranger #42, the day after it is released.

See? You can never quite keep The Phantom Stranger down...

Solomon Grundy #1 - May 2009

"Born on a Monday" by Scott Kolins.

The Phantom Stranger does a classic, old-school bit of introducing the story this time around:
He instructs Grundy's alter-ego, Cyrus, that he has seven days to find his murderer, and forgive him--"That way leads the path to your salvation!"

But of course, its never that easy. And of course, the Stranger doesn't hang around...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Madame Xanadu #9 - May 2009

"The Last of the Future" by Matt Wagner, Amy Reeder Hadley, and Richard Friend.

After spending some time romancing Zatara, Madame Xanadu's Stranger totem begins to move on its own accord, eventually leading to something unbelievable:
To be continued!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Brave and The Bold #22 - April 2009

"Without Sin Part Four" by David Hine, Doug Braithwaite, and Bill Reinhold.

Even though the Phantom Stranger got bumped from the cover for this, the fourth and final chapter of this story, he still plays a huge role.

After fighting and defeating the malevolent alien force that was using Cora as conduit, the heroes discover that Cora, while not completely healed, has come out of this better than before.

The Phantom Stranger even gets the last word:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Madame Xanadu #8 - April 2009

"Through the Crystal" by Matt Wagner, Amy Reeder Hadley, and Richard Friend.

The Phantom Stranger continues his cryptic comments about the vicious murders taking place, but when he states that it not yet time for the horror to end, Madame Xanadu is aghast:
He reappears later on, and MX gets so mad she slaps the Stranger across the face. She ends up getting so mad she uses a piece of his cloak (ripped off during their last encounter) as part of a sort-of voodoo doll of him, promising to herself that the next time they meet, she "will be ready."

To be continued!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Justice League of America (Vol.2) #29 - March 2009

"Star Struck!" by Len Wein, Chris Cross, and Rob Stull.

What a treat, having Len Wein writing the JLA again!

In a "twice-told tale from the JLA Casebook", we see the JLA square off against the cosmic vampire known as Starbreaker.

Starbreaker's lurch towards Earth was noticed by a select few, including a certain Stranger writer Wein has a lot of familiarity with:

Unfortunately, that's it for the Stranger in this issue, but nice to have him even for a cameo in this old-school JLA adventure!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Brave and The Bold #21 - March 2009

"Without Sin Part Three" by David Hine, Doug Braithwaite, and Bill Reinhold.

Inside his dreams, the Phantom Stranger encounters the young girl, Cora, who seems to be the focal point for all the mystical energy winding its way through the galaxy.

After waking up from his enforced sleep, he joins back up with Green Lantern:
...while they are on the other side of the galaxy, the Stranger arranges for Cora to be rescued from the institution she's stuck Green Arrow!

To be concluded!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Faces of Evil: Solomon Grundy #1 - March 2009

"The Curse!" by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins.

In a book devoted entirely to Solomon Grundy(!), we find the undead muck monster turned back into a regular person named Cyrus.

Cyrus has been given "an opportunity", explained to him by Green Lantern and...The Phantom Stranger!:
To be continued!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Brave and The Bold #20 - Feb. 2009

"Without Sin Part Two" by David Hine, Doug Braithwaite, and Bill Reinhold.

The mysterious, malevolent forces at work extend far past Earth, out into distant galaxies and involve other Green Lanterns and even the Guardians.

Of course, distance doesn't mean much to the Phantom Stranger, but he runs into trouble when he encounters the Belamort, a creature that works as a sort of pleasure-inducer:
...although that doesn't look too pleasure-giving, does it?

To be continued!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Madame Xanadu #7 - Feb. 2009

"Through the Crystal" by Matt Wagner, Amy Reeder Hadley, and Richard Friend.

While The Phantom Stranger is teaming-up with Green Lantern over in Brave and the Bold, he also kept appearing here in Madame Xanadu, this time running into MX into Victorian England:
Once again, Madame Xanadu reads the Stranger the riot act for being seemingly indifferent to the suffering that is happening, in this case a series of what-will-be very famous murders.

She doesn't know the half of it--in this issue we see the Stranger literally standing by as another murder takes place. Yikes!

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